Essay About Honesty And Dishonesty

What makes somebody lie sometimes and tell the truth other times?When people face this question about why people lie sometimes and don't lie other times, the common answer has to do with something about the internal state about the person.Can you name a situation when somebody was dishonest and it backfired on them? So of course there are many cases where dishonesty has backfired and I think the best example of this is the financial crisis.

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In the rational framework of course people always think about the long-term and in the rational framework of cheating people think in the long-term, but in reality we find that people don't think so much about the long-term.

And this means, by the way, that the rules and regulations and laws that rely on the long-term, that rely on prison sentences, and probability that someday somebody might catch you are much less effective then we think because when we are creating the rules and regulations we have in mind a rational agent who thinks in the long-term and human beings are not like that and college students are of course the same.

And actually, one of our findings is that people's standards for morality are dramatically influenced by the behavior of people around them and I think that if you have a situation where bankers are friends with bankers and politicians are friends with politicians and they see people in their social circle misbehaving in a dishonest way there is basically a temptation to match that behavior and find a similar behavior, find it socially acceptable, follow up on it and continue behaving this way.

And of course, the really sad thing about it is that those things have a propensity for a slippery slope and escalation, which I think is exactly what we've seen over the past few years and sadly I have not seen any serious attempt to stop this escalation and even to reset it, but we have to because we are getting into a worse and worse situation over time.

Dan is also a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University.

In this interview, he talks about why people lie in some situations but not others, why students cheat on tests when they know they could suffer later in life, and more.Then come back and tell us how many questions you solved correctly and we'll pay you accordingly, a dollar per question.” Now, what people don't know is that we played with the shredder, the shredder only shreds the side of the page, but not the full page and we can jump in and find how many questions people really solved correctly. We find that on average people solved around four problems and report to be solving six.Okay, that's a general finding, and we find that the six is not comprised of a few people who cheat a lot, instead it's comprised of many people who cheat a little bit.So for example, in one of our experiments we found that, the basic experiment looked like this, people have a sheet of paper with 20 simple math problems that they can solve all of them if they had enough time, but we don't give people enough time.We give people only five minutes, we give them the sheet of paper, we say “work as hard as you can” and when the five minutes are over we say “please stop and count how many you questions you got correct, remember that number then go to the back and shred that sheet of paper.The person is hungry, is tired, is exhausted and there is some truth to that.There is some changes that happen to us internally that make us cheat more or less.In particular, one of the things we find is being mentally exhausted gets people to cheat more, and here is the finding: There is something called depletion.Depletion is the idea that when we exercise self control, when we try to resist temptation, we try to resist a cake and a cookie and Facebook and Youtube and saying something nasty to someone and so on.Based on your research, what motivates people to behave dishonestly?What we basically find is that people are a nice combination of economic incentives and psychological incentives.


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